12 June 2012

Assault on Green Island Airfield

Assault on Green Island Airfield
Imperial vs. FSA vs. Covenant
1000 MFV each force, naval, air, and armored

The set-up for this scenario was a bit lopsided: I had 1000 points to set up on the island in the center of the board, including a bunker and airfield; my two opponents each had 1000 points on opposite sides of each other.  The objective was to assault and hold the airfield with AP.  Clearly my force was going to be the nut in the vise.

I put some land units on the island for defense, some medium flyers above the island, and some ships to either side, everything prepared to move in any direction.  My plan was to keep forces close to the island and respond to threats as they advanced, from either side.

The FSA side advanced first.  The FSA player had put all of his 1000 points into a core naval force with some air support.  The CoA player tried a combined arms force, including a time dilation orb and a pair of armored bombards.

Each player had a chance to place terrain before starting the game, and the FSA declined to place any terrain while the CoA player put as much terrain as he could on his half of the table--he was thinking it would provide him plenty of land to maneuver his armored units, but then his core force was still naval and his ships started the game bottled up in the narrow sea passage so that none of them could fully deploy until the second turn.

By the end of the first turn my Imperial ships turned to meet the advancing FSA fleet while the Covenant ships carefully maneuvered through the narrow straight, most of their ordanance line-of-sight blocked by friendly ships already activated for the turn.

I decided to concentrate all Imperial resources against the FSA fleet.  But before my squadron of air scout gyros activated the lead vessal had already suffered a critical hit to steering and drifted off toward the Covenant forces--a nominal defense against the inevitable attack from the Southerners.

A pair of Tanuki gunships headed straight for the FSA flagship, and a squadron of frigates shot planes from the air with their ack-ack.  I thought a combined boarding attempt with both gunships might even capture the FSA flagship.

The FSA commodore attempted a hard turn to starboard, but it wasn't hard enough and the dreadnought plowed into the leading Japanese gunship.  The collision sank one and combined gunfire sank the other.

But I got my revenge with the 3 remaining frigates in my Uwatsu squadron.  Linked fire against a FSA gunship which had powered up kinetic generators and steamed up alongside the airstrip on the island allowed my frigates to score a double critical hit on an armored medium class ship!  Of course, it helped that my dice rolled sixes, but rolling a combined hand of 14 dice at range band 1 was a good place to start.

Meanwhile, on the landward side of the table, the Covenant finally powered up the time dilation orb and the giant crab materialized within rocket marine range of the bunker.  The CoA crab refrained from launching a boarding action so soon, but the guns just couldn't do much more than scratch the paint on the bunker.

I placed all of my pieces lost to the FSA assault on the respective side of my token & destroyed model mat, and by the end of turn 2 all of my destroyed models had been at the hands of the FSA while the Covenant ships still maneuvered and the giant crab shook its claws in frustration.

As dark stormclouds approached from the south and all players agreed to conclude the battle at the end of the third turn, I activated the Ika to surface, ram through a frigate (sinking it, of course) and firing all forward guns against the "Lame Duck" FSA landship which had been slowely waddling through the water at something like 3" per turn.  My most effective units this game proved to be the frigates which had taken out three-quarters of a FSA corvette squadron before shooting down some planes and then inflicting a double critical hit against a heavy FSA gunship.  The Ika played its part as well, taking out one FSA frigate before diving, then surfacing again on the second turn to ram and sink a second frigate, and then firing to score a critical hit on the FSA landship.  If we had played a 4th turn I felt confident the frigates could score one more hit and sink the gunship while the Ika moved to board the painfully slow moving landship.

Back at the island, the crab probably would have continued to pound at the bunker, but I still had a pair of undamaged bombards and a pair of small tanks which could have moved to board the crab.  I was clearly overpowered by two opposing fleets, but I still took out almost as many opposing models as I lost.  And we all enjoyed trying an untested 3-player scenario.